Not a whole lot of rocking going on. The temperatures stayed in the twenties for most of the day. The high was 27º with a low of 19º. The sun was shining bright, but there was not a lot of melting. The trails are going to be extremely icy today. If you are coming up, please have a pair of ice walkers for your boots. You will also want to make sure you have a good pair of water proof boots. Your feet are going to be wet and cold if you don't. The weather forecast is looking good for warmer weather and sunny days. We should see a lot of this snow disappearing over the next couple of days. Be safe and see you up top.
Is It April Fools Day?
You will never hear me say, "the ground is too warm for the snow to stick", again. Mother Nature proved me wrong. Spring on the mountain delivered 12" of snow last night. There are drifts that are more like a foot and half to two feet. The high yesterday went from 47º to a low of 17º. Now, that, is what spring is like in the Smokies. You never know what the weather is going to do. It is so important to be prepared.
The Park Service is trying to plow Hwy 441. They said it is slow going. As of now, the road is closed. Cherokee Orchard is open to the Rainbow Falls trailhead. Bullhead and Rainbow are going to be the most traveled trails today.Please be careful if you are hiking up today. Start early and take your time. We will have the hot chocolate ready for you. Now, time to go shovel the steps.
More Goodies From Our Store
The wind is blowing and raindrops are falling. It is another cloudy day up top. On a positive note, the rain has helped melt a lot of the ice and snow. The high yesterday was 41º and it is currently 42º. If the forecast is correct, it should start clearing out and end with a beautiful day up top. This is our first official weekend open for the 2014 season. I am sure it is going to be a busy day around the lodge. The llamas should be on their way with clean laundry and crew mail. We always look for
For those of you who asked to see the shirt, here it is. We decided it was time to feature the llamas. These shirts are only available at the lodge. So, lace up those hiking boots and come up to see us.
It is a dreary day on the mountain. High winds and rain are melting the snow rather quickly. The high yesterday was 41º with a 24 hour low of 24º. It is currently 37º. The llamas are supposed to make their first trip up the mountain tomorrow. Let's hope the ice is melted and the trail is passable.
Morning At the Lodge
" Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood"- Andy Goldsworthy
It never got above freezing yesterday, but the sun was out, and that made for a gorgeous afternoon on top of the mountain. The low yesterday was -1º with a high of 27º. The trails are going to be extremely icy. Make sure you have some sort of traction device for your shoes. The guests are making it up the mountain just fine. If you are hiking up over the next day or so, just start early and take your time. See you on the top.
Zero Degrees and Plenty of Snow
This is one of those mornings when you don't want to get out of bed. When it is 0º outside, it is hard to get out from under that comfy Hudson Bay Blanket. At least the sun is coming up and it is supposed to get a little warmer today. We have 4" of snow on the ground and it is covered by a nice layer of crunchy ice. Hwy 441 did open up yesterday, but as of right now, I am not sure about this morning. You can call the Park to find out about road closures at 865-436-1200. Believe it or not, we had a few families with small kids make it up just fine. Those of you hiking with kids, these kids had a blast coming up and were in good spirits when they got here. I would say each parent knows their child best, but it is doable. Just make sure you have plenty of warm layers for everyone. Give yourself plenty of time to make the hike and we will see you at the top.
Old Man Winter is Hanging Around
Springtime on the mountain means you never know what you are going to get. We awoke this morning to 4" of fresh powder on the ground. The high yesterday was 33º with a low of 13º. Thank goodness we finished our airlift before this blanket of snow covered the mountain. The helicopter delivered the last of the t-shirts and propane tanks. We are ready for action.
If you are hiking up today, make sure you have plenty of layers to keep warm when you stop for rest breaks. You also want to make sure you drink plenty of water and carry snacks with you. The snow can make a hike last a little longer than usual, so make sure you are prepared.
At the time of this posting, Hwy 441 is closed. The trails that are open, leading to the lodge, are Rainbow Falls Trail and Bullhead Trail. We heard from guests yesterday advising that you will want some sort of traction device to attempt these trails. Remember, take it slow and be careful. We will have hot chocolate ready for you when you reach the lodge.
Brrrr........ it is freezing up here. The thermometer is saying it is a brisk 12º at the lodge. It is a cold and clear morning. We are hoping that means we will get to finish our airlift. In the meantime, the crew is putting the finishing touches on the cabins and getting them ready for our first guests to arrive today. With the rain we had yesterday and the freezing temperatures, I am sure there will be some patches of ice on the trail. Be careful on your way up.
We received this announcement from the Park Service:
Trillium Gap Trail Partially Closed for Hazardous Tree Removal
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the temporary closure of a 2.3 mile section of Trillium Gap Trail between the Rainbow Falls parking lot and the Grotto Falls parking lot due to hazardous tree removal and roadside brushing on the nearby Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The trail section will be closed Wednesday, March 19 and Thursday, March 20 for visitor safety.
In addition, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will be closed to all pedestrians from Monday, March 17 through Monday, March 31 due to the work along the entire roadway. Contracted crews from Richmond Tree will remove large, dead trees within 20 feet of the road to reduce the risk of hazardous trees. The road is scheduled to open for the spring on April 11 to vehicle traffic.
For more information about trail closures, please visit the Park’s website at www.nps.gov/grsm or call the Backcountry Information Office at 865-436-1297.
The answer to your questions is, yes. Trillium Gap trail will not be accessible until the Park Service is finished with the cleanup.
Cold Temperatures on the Mountain
We awoke to a wintery mix. There is a dusting on the ground and rain and sleet coming down. It is going to be a frigid day up top. The high yesterday was 47º with a low of 29º. It is currently 32º.
I was corrected yesterday about the early helicopter resupply. I was given the information by men who have done extensive research on the early years of LeConte Lodge. I will say, since I have not seen the information myself, I am not positive on the earliest flight to Mt. Leconte. This does make me curious. Maybe that will be homework for the season.
Happy Day on the Mountain
We were able to fly most of the day yesterday. It was great to finally get some supplies on the mountain. We are still lacking about 40 trips, but wind is a bit to blustery for flying today. I am not sure when we will get to finish the drop.
Yesterday was a perfect day for it. The high was 40º with a low of 32º. We had sunshine all day. The ground is starting to dry up and the ice is pretty much gone from the trail. There may be some patches at the very to where the sun doesn't shine. You can hike around these areas.
Someone asked about the history of using a helicopter for the supply drops. There are written accounts of Paul Adams using an early form of helicopter back in the twenties. Horses were used for a long time as regular resupply and the lodge changed to llamas around 1985. So, I guess you could say that helicopters have always been a part of getting supplies to the remot
Welcome to the official blog of LeConte Lodge. We hope you find the information provided here both helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to see you on the mountain!